LEXINGTON, Ohio (May 15, 2021) – Atlanta Speedwerks scored a podium finish on Saturday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge TCR competition, where Scott Smithson and Ryan Eversley co-drove the No. 94 Dinner With Racers/Lemons of Love Honda Civic TCR to a third-place finish at the Mid-Ohio 120.
Teammates Brian Henderson and Robert Noaker, starting at the rear of field, climbed as high as eighth in the No. 84 Sabelt/Pagid Honda Civic TCR before ultimately finishing in 11th place.
The bronze medal was the second podium of the season for the No. 94 car after a second-place finish at Daytona in the season opener. Eversley shared the car in that race with co-drivers Todd Lamb and Greg Strelzoff, so Saturday’s finish leaves Eversley alone in second place in the season-long championship standings. The No. 94 car also sits second in the Team Championship and has boosted Honda to an early second place in the Manufacturers’ Championship.
Smithson opened the race, his first at Mid-Ohio and his first in IMSA competition, in sixth position and ran a solid opening stint before pulling to pit lane under yellow to pass the car to Eversley. Eversley took over in eighth place, was running fifth at the final full-course caution with 24 minutes to go and climbed to third with 11 minutes to go.
Henderson ran a fantastic opening stint in the No. 84 Honda Civic, moving from last on the grid all the way to eighth during his stint. Unfortunately, Henderson drove most of his 50 minutes with a delaminated splitter, changing the handling of the car. The team tried to tape it into place during the pit stop when Henderson handed the car to Noaker. The issue forced Noaker to just off the pace of the leaders in the final stint and came home in 11th. Henderson and Noaker turned the quickest lap in qualifying, but were relegated to the rear of the field for the start after technical inspection.
The next appearance for Atlanta Speedwerks and the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge comes at Watkins Glen International, June 24-27, for a four-hour race.
Ryan Eversley, Driver, No. 94 Honda Civic TCR: “Any time you race for Honda at Mid-Ohio you want to bring home a result. We were the best of our class, so to speak, because I always want to be the top Honda. It was a really good result for this team. We’ve had some really good speed, but Sebring wasn’t our best race. Scott did a fantastic job. The pit stop actually went really well, that was Scott’s first time ever doing a driver change. Hats off to him. His first weekend in IMSA and he qualifies right on top of the regulars, we get a podium, he did a great job with his pit stop, and he kept it clean with no issues. Two podiums in three races, I’m really happy about that. Thanks to Honda, HPD, Valvoline and the everybody involved in the program at Atlanta Speedwerks. I’m looking forward to Watkins Glen.”
Scott Smithson, Driver, No. 94 Honda Civic TCR: “I’m really happy with it. I didn’t come in here with a lot of expectations because everything was thrown at me all at once. It was a new car setup, a brand-new track, IMSA, more traffic, driver changes – a lot was thrown at me. I’m thrilled. I feel like I had the pace, I just need to work on race pace. But Ryan is an animal. He’s awesome. It was a great weekend.”
Brian Henderson, Driver, No. 84 Honda Civic TCR: “Unfortunately that splitter was loose right from the start and flapping around. It cost us some speed, but I was still able to work my way up to eighth which I was really happy about. I would have liked to run a little better but considering the splitter and all that, I handed the car to Robert in one piece. He got in there and did what he could with it. We got a finish, we’re on the board, and I’m looking forward to Watkins Glen. The Atlanta Speedwerks guys did a great job, we just had a little issue but we’ll put it behind us for the next one.”
Todd Lamb, Owner: “It was a weekend of highs and lows for us. It was a rollercoaster. The 84 car got their third pole, so we’re really happy with that. We have some new team members this weekend that are helping to bring some consistency and structure as we move forward, so we’re very thankful for their help this weekend. We had a good run with the 94 car. We have Scott Smithson on board, and for his first weekend with us, in IMSA and at Mid-Ohio, he did phenomenal. I’m excited to see what he can do for the rest of the season. We’ve got a little bit of time to get regrouped for Watkins Glen, and we’re looking forward to great things as the season progresses.”